PingPod #39 – 40mm vs 38mm Table Tennis Ball


Welcome to the PingPod, the ping pong
podcast by PingSkills. Welcome Alois.
Thanks Jeff
Now today we’ve got an interesting topic.We’re talking about the 38mm ball vs the 40mm ball. Very exciting. Now how big a change has this been for table tennis
when they introduced the new bigger 40mm ball?
Well there was a lot of talk when we first came out with with the bigger ball. The
game was going to change, it was all going to get different, it was going to be slower.
So it was going to be much better for defenders because it was
going to be slower, it was going to bring back choppers into the game That’s right.
How did that turn out? Well, let’s have a look.
I mean there’s just not that many defenders that are at the top of the world still. And looking at table tennis as a whole, as a spectator sport, I don’t think its
changed at all Not at all. So if we look back before the
2000 Olympics and see when Waldner was playing Kong Linghui are the rallies any different?
I don’t think so. I mean if you’re looking at it purely from a spectators
point of view there isn’t any real difference with what is
happening. The rallies look the same, the game looks the
same. It hasn’t made any big difference to the
promotability of the game.
Okay so in hindsight, looking at what we know now was the change worth it or because it made no difference it just doesn’t
make any difference? Yeah, I just think it hasn’t made any
difference. Was it worth the change? Probably not.
Okay there you go. So we want
to know your thoughts. What do you think about the change from
the 38mm, if you’re old enough to remember when we did play with 38mm,
to the 40mm ball. Let us know!

25 thoughts on “PingPod #39 – 40mm vs 38mm Table Tennis Ball

  1. Whats happening with the new poly ball? I thought it was june or july that it had to be used for ITTF tournaments, yet there still isnt any approved ITTF balls yet? It seems like a shambles to me

  2. preffered 38mm slightly. Tried 38mm again just a few weeks ago and seemed far funny, so much faster and spinnier, and i felt because it was smaller, was easier to hit harder and still get to land on other side of the table, making rally actually LONGER. Also means my 38mm robo pong robot is far less effective to train with.

  3. I hated the 40mm when it came out, but quickly got used to it. As an agressive attacker I think I would prefer the 38mm today if I had a choice, but am not prepared to play with them now beyond a couple of hits for fear of starting to adjust back again….  I too am now more interested in developments with the poly ball – Any news on that in general circulation?

  4. I recently tried 38mm. it felt far easier to get spin on it. also the spin affected the ball a lot more. the flight trajectories were far more impressive than with 40mm ball. Was great fun.

  5. The ball is bigger with the same quantity of celluloid. Thus it breaks more often which is a good thing from a manufacturer's point of view…

  6. I just started playing again recently, I played a lot with the 30mm ball during the late 80's and early to late 90's..My take on the 40mm, it's easier to control, it feels heavier to me when I hit it. I like the 40mm because it's easier to see along with better control. Progressing technology enabled offensive players to dominate among the top players in the world. So in reality the ball did slow down, but the technology didn't which is why the rallies haven't changed…:) 

  7. Sounds like the new plastic balls will slightly bigger yet again and more smooth, creating a bit less spin.

    I think if anything the 40mm ball is a bit easier to see on tv (youtube) and possibly easier to see the spin on the serve. Would be interesting to ask a top pro about those details. Rubber technology has really advanced. What about going to 44 mm and see if that slows things down?

  8. Maybe the players became faster but the ball compensated for that evolution. If we'd kept the 38 mm ball the game would have become too fast?

  9. i also think that 40mm feels much better i felt the diference the ball was a bit harder then usual its a bit better for slaming and defending i think

  10. I think they shud ve kept the 38mm ball. The game would've grown faster and might with the kinda players we have today and would have been ever more challenging. Players would ve evolved to be better! As far as spectator-ship goes for the game, it might never be a spectator sport with the masses.  I also feel that the game should have been for 21 points instead of the 11 points which makes it go at blazing speed.  The players would have gotten a better chance to strategize their play! 

  11. I never played with the38 mm ball but twice me and my practice partner picked up a 38 mm ball and paled with it and I didn't even notice until he threw it away.but I've heard that a lot of old players stopped playing because of the ball change

  12. Will they really slow down the game even more? Its a shame that the athletes will be limited by the spectators:(

    table tennis is already at its best. i certainly hope they don't make any more unnecessary changes that would make the sport lose its charm………..(that includes you, poly ball!). 

  13. I loved to play with 38mm balls, its way to big for me now. I was taking a break because of the change, but I recently started again. Btw did the game got slower now?

  14. 40 mm is good, 38 mm was ok too
    Poly 40+ absolutely sucks,
    Your blade, rubber measurements has to be bigger according to new poly.i have noticed in the club no body plays with me if I pick 40 mm even for practice shots

    But for manufacturing, its profit, bigger blades, special rubbers, profit

    I goes to ping pong club Scarborough king table tennis

  15. I have 3 blades since my 15 years of table tennis

    Butterfly Mazonov has a bigger surface ok for poly
    yasaka gatein extra has smaller surface, no good for poly
    729 9010 carbon also bigger surface, ok for poly
    some senior club members have blades from 1970,s, and 1980,s which are only good for 38-40 mm

    This poly ball is ruining table tennis it should be banned

  16. I grew up on the orange 38mm balls. I hate the 40mm balls. I suppose I could get used to them, but I don't want to. We still play with 38mm balls every night, but I am now running low. Does anyone know where I can buy decent orange 38mm balls?

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